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The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

The Twenty Minute VC takes you inside the world of Venture Capital, Startup Funding and The Pitch. Join our host, Harry Stebbings and discover how you can attain funding for your business by listening to what the most prominent investors are directly looking for in startups, providing easily actionable tips and tricks that can be put in place to increase your chances of getting funded. Although, you may not want to raise funding for a startup. The Twenty Minute VC also provides an instructional guide as to what it takes to get employed in the Venture Capital industry, with VCs giving specific advice on how to get noticed from the crowd and increasing your chances of employment. If that wasn't enough our amazing Venture Capitalists also provide their analysis of the current technology market, providing advice and suggestions on the latest investing trends and predictions. Join us so you can see how you can get BIG, powerful improvements, fast. Would you like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and a more detailed analysis of the technology and Venture Capital industry.
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Now displaying: May, 2020
May 29, 2020

Avi Meir is the Founder & CEO @ TravelPerk, the travel management platform that combines the best of leisure and corporate travel into one smooth experience. To date, Avi has raised over $134m with TravelPerk from the likes of DST, Spark Capital, Felix Capital and Heartcore to name a few. Prior to founding TravelPerk, Avi co-founded HotelNinjas, a hotel management product that was acquired by Booking.com. Before that Avi was VP Product at budgetplaces where he managed a team of 50 across product and marketing.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Avi made his way into the world of startups and came to change the way we think of corporate travel with TravelPerk?

2.) Why has Avi advocated for the re-opening of society much sooner than others have done? If Avi were in government, what would he advocate for and do? How does Avi try and effectively assess the core risks of COVID both from a societal and economic perspective?

3.) How does Avi feel when he hears the comparison of COVID to Saars or 9/11 when it comes to their impact on travel? Why is this so different? Why does Avi believe 2021 will be a bigger year for business travel than 2019?

4.) How does Avi advise founders heavily impacted by COVID to really effectively analyse their spend and optimise runway? How does Avi think approach the element that sales and marketing is now non-revenue driving? How does Avi approach resource allocation as a result?

5.) Does Avi believe we will see a fundamental re-shaping of corporate travel? What will change? How does domestic travel change? What will the landscape look like on the other side? Who will survive? Who will thrive? Does Avi feel now is an opportune time for M&A?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

May 26, 2020

Elad Gil is one of Silicon Valley's most successful and prominent angels of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Square, Airbnb, Pinterest, Instacart, Flexport and Brex to name a few. Prior to solely company investing, Elad was an operator as Founder and CEO @ Color Genomics for their first 3 years. Before Color, Elad was a VP of Corporate Strategy @ Twitter following their acquisition of the company he founded, Mixer Labs. Before founding Mixer, Elad spent 3 years at Google where he was involved with 3 acquisition including the Android acquisition.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Elad made his way into the world of startups and how that led to his investing in some of the most prominent companies of the last decade?

2.) How is the venture and startup landscape shifting right now? What does Elad make of the large multi-stage funds re-entering seed? How does Elad advise founders when it comes to taking secondaries?

3.) What are the core elements startups need to assess to fully understand their cash position? What is the optimal runway to have and to raise for today? How can founders stress test their runway models? Where does Elad see the most mistakes when it comes to runway?

4.) Does Elad believe the VC messages of "Open for Business" during COVID? How does Elad advise founders when it comes to valuation sensitivity today? What are the core terms that founders should watch out for when raising? How does Elad see venture fund reserve allocations changing?

5.) What are the core tenets of an effective layoff strategy? How should they determine the right level of aggression with which to make cuts? How can layoffs be done in a way that maintains internal culture and morale? Where does Elad see many going wrong when it comes to layoffs?

6.) Which business will thrive in COVID times? Which will die? What are the leading indicators of each? How does Elad determine in the businesses that are growing immensely during COVID, those that are sustainable growth and those which are purely due to COVID?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Elad’s Fave BookMaster of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

Elad’s Most Recent InvestmentDeel

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Elad and on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

May 22, 2020

Ariel Cohen is the Founder & CEO @ TripActions, the company trusted by more than 4,000 companies to manage their business travel and expenses. To date, Ariel has raised more than $980M with TripActions from the likes of Lightspeed, Oren Zeev and a16z to name a few. Prior to TripActions, Ariel co-founded StreamOnce, a business multimedia integration platform which was acquired by Jive Software. Prior to StreamOnce, Ariel led Product Management in a senior leadership role at Hewlett-Packard.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ariel made his way into the world of tech and came to change the way we think about business travel today with TripActions?

2.) What are TripActions doing in their business to be there for their partners, customers and suppliers in the long term? TripActions engaged in layoffs, how did Ariel approach the size of layoff required? What is the right way to do layoffs? How does this change in a remote world?

3.) Given the uncertainty, how does Ariel advise founders to assess and correct their burn and spending? What is a reasonable amount of runway to reserve for? For those hit hard on the demand side, what can they do to build durable defensibility when they can't scale demand?

4.) How does Ariel view the future of business travel? Does Zoom replace much of the business trips? What will the landscape look like in 3 years? What players will survive? Who will thrive?

5.) From a founder psychology perspective, what has Avi done to cope in these very challenging times? What has worked? What has not worked? What does Ariel advise founders struggling to cope psychologically? What can investors do to be there for their founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ariel’s Fave Book: Mr Vertigo

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

 
 
May 18, 2020

Hamilton Helmer is the Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer @ Strategy Capital a long-only public equity fund that selects securities for investment based on Power Dynamics, a proprietary model of fundamental value, developed by Hamilton over decades of strategy consulting with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Adobe and more. Hamilton is also the author of one of my favourite books, 7 Powers. If that was not enough, Hamilton is also an Instructor in the Economics Department @ Stanford University.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hamilton made his way into the world of investing from advising some of the largest tech titans on the planet with Adobe and HP?

2.) What is a strategy mental model? What makes the most effective strategic models? What characteristics do they have? How should founders balance between sticking to models and being willing to change them? What are Hamilton's biggest takeaways from working with Netflix?

3.) "All strategy begins with invention", what did Hamilton mean by this? How does Hamilton explain the success of copycats in markets? How does Hamilton separate between first mover and creator? How does Hamilton analyse the transition from startup to pricer with scale economics?

4.) How does Hamilton advise founders to view and approach competition? Why does Hamilton totally disagree with the requirement of being 10x better than your competition? Is product innovation alone enough without brand or business model innovation?

5.) How does Hamilton define "brand"? Is brand an attainable strategy alone or is it the byproduct of something else? How transferable is brand in one category to alternative categories? How does a brand truly know when they have sustainable leverage and power?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

May 15, 2020

Sarah Kunst is the Founder and Managing Director @ Cleo Capital with a portfolio including the likes of StyleSeat, Glow Bar and PlateJoy to name a few. Prior to venture, Sarah served as a senior advisor at Bumble where she focused on their corporate VC arm, Bumble Fund, and on the board of the Michigan State University Foundation endowment. If that was not enough, Sarah is also a contributing editor @ Vanity Fair. Due to her success, Sarah has been named a Future Innovator by Vanity Fair and a top woman in VC by Wall St Journal.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sarah made her way into the world of venture from Bumble and how that led to her founding Cleo Capital?

2.) Does Sarah believe VCs really are still "open for business"? What does Sarah make of all the dry powder sitting on the sidelines? How does Sarah think reserve allocation strategies will change today? Why does Sarah believe another great vintage of funds is to come, as it did in 08'?

3.) What would Sarah most like to change about the world of venture? Does Sarah agree that GP commit expectations prevent diversity in venture? How was the fundraising process for Sarah? How can VCs prove skin in the game without having personal capital?

4.) What is the #1 piece of advice Sarah is giving her founders in these COVID times? How does Sarah advise her founders on approaching the talent market today? How does Sarah advise her founders on burn and capital allocation given COVID?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sarah’s Fave BookAttached: Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep

Sarah’s Most Recent InvestmentPlanet Forward

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Sarah and on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

May 11, 2020

Mike Maples is a Founder & Partner @ Floodgate, one of the leading early-stage firms of the last decade with investments in the likes of Lyft, Twitch, Twitter, Okta and Sonos to name a few. He has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010 and was also named one of “8 Rising Stars” by FORTUNE Magazine. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (IPO TIVS, acquired by IBM) and Motive (IPO MOTV, acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.)

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his way from founding startups to entering the world of venture and the gap he saw in the market when founding Floodgate?

2.) Mike has previously said, "a startup is not a company, it is a series of breakthroughs". How does Mike define a breakthrough? What are the 2 most meaningful breakthroughs a startup can experience? Which excites Mike the most to see? How do the best startups scale pre-breakthrough to post-breakthrough?

3.) What are the core ways inflections can create breakthrough opportunities? What were Mike's learnings on inflections from investing in Lyft? What does Mike mean when he talks about the importance of "backcasting"? What did investing in Twitch teach Mike about forecasting?

4.) How does Mike feel about the rise of operator and angel funds? How does Mike analyse the re-entrance of large multi-stage funds back into seed markets? Does Mike agree with Semil Shah, "founders are voting with their feet and taking multi-stage money at seed"?

5.) As Mike's peers have all moved into larger funds, Mike did not, why? How does Mike view "fund size as your strategy"? How does Mike think about the centrality of ownership? Does Mike really believe you can concentrate capital into your winners? What are the challenges? Why does Mike feel self-promotion is one of the biggest challenges in VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Most Recent InvestmentCommonStock

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mike and on Twitter here!

May 8, 2020

Conor White-Sullivan is the Founder & CEO @ Roam Research, the tool taking over our industry providing a seamless note-taking tool for networked thought. Prior to founding Roam, Conor founded 2 prior businesses and also worked at HuffPost as a Co-Founder of HuffPost Labs where he reported directly to Arianna Huffington and HuffPost CTO.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Conor's high school wrestling career taught him "how to win"? What was the founding story with Roam? How does Conor think about when to stay true to the vision and persist vs when to give up?

2.) How does Conor think about the product design philosophy they have @ Roam? Conor has said before, "Roam is not about taking better notes", what is Roam about then? How does Conor think about the importance of adding challenge to a product? What does he mean when he discusses the importance of "low floors and high ceilings" with regards to product design?

3.) How would Conor analyse his own hiring and team-building philosophy? Why are the two most important traits, "girt and autodidacts"?How does Conor really stress these two characteristics in an interview process? Why does Conor choose to live with the team? What are the benefits of this?

4.) Does Conor believe we are in a phase of bundling or unbundling when it comes to collaboration tools? Does Conor believe we will see large players acquire and consolidate over the coming months? Why does Conor compare Roam more to Google than other collaboration tools?

5.) How does Conor think about go-to-market today? What were some of Conor's biggest takeaways for bootstrapping for years with revenue from customers? Why is Conor borrowing from the Tesla GTM? What does that really mean in practice?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Conor and on Twitter here!

 
May 4, 2020

Mark Cuban is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. His career began with his founding of MicroSolutions, a company he went on to sell to CompuServe in 1990. Then in 1995 Mark co-founded Broadcast.com - streaming audio over the internet. In just four short years, Broadcast.com (then Audionet) was sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion dollars. Following the acquisition in 2000, Mark acquired the Dallas Mavericks where since his taking over they have competed in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2006 - and becoming NBA World Champions in 2011. They are currently listed as one of Forbes' most valuable franchises in sports. If that was not enough, Mark is also one of ABC's "Sharks" on the hit show Shark Tank.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mark made his way into the world of technology and startups having been fired from his first job in sales?

2.) How does Mark evaluate his relationship to wealth and money? How has that changed over time? What advice does Mark have to those that tie happiness and money together?

3.) What does Mark think about Silicon Valley investors today? Why does he believe they and the valley are like Hollywood? Why does Mark believe that if the greatest tech companies of today had been started elsewhere, they would be more successful?

4.) How does Mark evaluate his own investing philosophy today? How does Mark think about price and price sensitivity? Why is Mark so keen to have his investment funded from the cashflow of the business? Does this not narrow opportunity and limit upside? How does Mark evaluate risk today?

5.) Why does Mark believe post-COVID is the single greatest time to be an entrepreneur? What advice would he give to an entrepreneur starting their new business in this time? How would Mark go about the re-opening of society post lockdown?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mark and on Twitter here!

May 1, 2020

Wayne Chang and Jeff Seibert are the co-founders @ Digits, the company that gives you a complete, real-time understanding of your expenses, all in just a few clicks. To date, Wayne and Jeff have raised over $32M for Digits from some of the best in the business including Peter Fenton @ Benchmark and Jess Verrilli @ GV and then with the most incredible base of angels with the founders from Box, Github, Stitch Fix, Tinder, Gusto and more. Prior to Digits, Wayne and Jeff co-founded Crashlytics, acquired by Twitter for a 9-figure sum in Jan 2013 and then acquired from Twitter by Google in 2017. If that was not enough they are also LPs in some of the world's most exclusive funds and angels in the likes of Gusto, OpenDoor and SoFi to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jeff and Wayne make their way into the world of tech and startups? How did Wayne crashing a startup dinner start everything for them?

2.) How did Jeff and Wayne's prior success with Crashlytics impact their operating mindset scaling Digits today? What worked? What did not work? What gets easier with time? What gets harder the second time around?

3.) What have been Wayne and Jeff's biggest lessons from having a remote team from Day 1? What structure and framework do they use to hire the best remote talent? How does that change at the exec level? How do they think about optimising product management for remote teams?

4.) How would Wayne and Jeff summarise their design philosophy with Digits? Why does Wayne believe "minimalism only favours the designer"? When does it make sense to actually add some complexity to your product?

5.) Digits raised $33M pre-launch, why did they favour this approach? How do they think about when to transition from lean and iterative to aggressive and pouring fuel on the fire? Why did they choose to work with Peter Fenton? How do they think about optimising their angel network?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Wayne’s Fave BookEnders Game

Jeff's Fave Book: Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

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